Frequently Asked Questions

Environmental Tours

Incident Reporting

Fire Drills

Medical Waste Training

Defensive Driving Training

Environmental Tours
Q:What is an environmental tour?
A:It is a survey of hospital areas intended to identify environmental deficiencies, hazards and unsafe practices. Surveyors examine not only the physical aspects of the building and equipment but will also randomly assess staff knowledge of critical environment of care functions.

Q: What are environmental tours?
A: The Hospital Safety Officers conduct environmental tours at least once every six months in patient care areas and at least once a year in non-patient care areas. A schedule of inspections is maintained in the office of Hospital Safety as well as a database of areas surveyed and findings. Inspection reports are sent to the cost center managers with copies to appropriate administrators. Written responses from each area surveyed are required. Inspection reports and responses are maintained in binders arranged by building and floor in the office of Hospital Safety.

Q: Who conducts these inspections and how often?
A: The Hospital Safety Officers conduct environmental tours at least once every six months in patient care areas and at least once a year in non-patient care areas. This is a Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) requirement. A schedule of inspections is maintained in the office of Hospital Safety as well as a database of areas surveyed and findings. Inspection reports are sent to the cost center managers with copies to appropriate administrators. Written responses from each area surveyed are required as evidence of correction of deficiencies noted. Inspection reports and responses are maintained in binders arranged by department in the office of Hospital Safety.

Environmental Tour Form
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Incident Reporting
Q:What Is INCIDENT REPORTING?
A: Accidents/incidents involving property damage, personnel, student, or visitor injury and/or occupational illness, are reported in accordance with the Hospital Incident Report Program standard (Incident Reporting) and procedures outlined in the "You and UAB Handbook"(Section 3.2). Hospital Safety reviews incident reports and conducts further investigation when warranted. Incident information is entered into a database for analysis of trends relating to injury type, location, body part, severity and contributing factors. Trends are reported to the Hospital Safety Committee quarterly.

Q: How are the results communicated in the organization?
A: Patterns and trends in the type and frequency of several categories of deficiencies are reported quarterly to the Hospital Safety Committee. This information is also used to structure the annual Environment of Care update that all hospital staff are required to complete.

Q: Even if I've only had a small cut that I treated myself?
A: ALL injuries, no matter how small must be reported. Trends discovered through the reporting of minor injuries may lead to the prevention of more serious incidents. Minor injuries can lead to complications as well and the incident report is the best way to document the event accurately.

Incident Reporting
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Fire Drills
Q: What is a Code Red?
A: This is the emergency code for a fire.

Q: What is RACE?
A: The hospital's fire response plan:

Rescue anyone from immediate danger
Alarm: pull the fire alarm near exits
Confine the fire: close the door to where the fire is located
Evacuate and/or extinguish


Q: Why are fire drills conducted?
A: Fire drills are required by The Joint Commission (TJC). In addition, drills offer an opportunity to practice the Hospital's fire response plan, RACE.

Q: How often are fire drills conducted?
A: Once a quarter (One per shift, per quarter, per building). Business occupancies are conducted annually.

Q: What is a Building Block?
A: The buildings/blocks are defined as follows: Old and New Hillman Buildings; Jefferson Tower, North wing, and Quarterback Tower; Spain Wallace, West Pavilion and Medical Education Building; Russell Ambulatory Center; Spain Rehab and Rehab Addition; Center for Psychiatric Medicine; General Services Building; Wallace Tumor Institute; Women's and Infant Center

Q: Who has to evaluate the drill using the Code Red drill evaluation form?
A: An evaluation of an areas response is required from all occupied areas in the entire building/block. The above, below and adjacent areas also send a representative to the point of origin. Therefore, everyone must be familiar with which units are above, below, and adjacent to your unit in order to respond appropriately.

Fire Drill Staff Participation Form
Fire Drill Evaluation Form
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Medical Waste Training
Q: Who is required to complete medical waste training?
A: Any employee who may reasonably be expected to come into contact with medical waste in the performance of their work duties.


Q: How often am I required to take this class?
A: You are normally required to take the class once during your orientation period. The Hospital Education Committee can and has made the class mandatory for all appropriate staff based upon recommendations from Hospital Safety.

Q: How do I find out when the classes are held?
A: They are offered once per month through Nursing Staff Development for all new hires during the employee's orientation classes.

Q: What if I need a class for a large number of staff?
A: The instructors for the class will schedule special sessions of the class to meet specific needs of your department.
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Defensive Driving Training
Q:What is the Defensive Driving Class?
A:It is the National Safety Council's four hour class (DDC4) designed to provide drivers with knowledge and safe driving techniques to help prevent collisions and violations. The course focuses on hazard recognition and application of collision-avoidance techniques.

Q: Who is required to take DDC4?
A: Any UAB employee who drives a UAB vehicle as part of their job duties must take the course every three years.
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